PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Gov. Tom Wolf is calling on medical professionals to follow the Department of Health’s mandate to include race and ethnicity data in coronavirus test results.

In Pennsylvania, 69 percent of race data is unreported, and there’s almost no data on ethnicity. Gov. Wolf says without this data, it’s difficult to see how the pandemic is affecting the state’s minority and vulnerable populations.

“One of the problems we have is that we have heard how COVID-19 is hitting minority populations – in particular African-Americans – hardest across the United States and anecdotally in Pennsylvania, but we lack the statistics needed to determine the severity of this issue here,” Gov. Wolf says.

He says medical professionals need to collect and report race data of their patients. He also says there should be equal access to testing so coronavirus can be detected before it becomes widespread in a community.

The creation of the COVID-19 Response Task Force for Health Disparity was announced almost two weeks ago.

“The task force has held three meetings so far, and our biggest concerns heard from these communities are improving data collection and increasing access to free testing,” Lt. Gov. John Fetterman says. “I thank the governor for taking our recommendations and immediately calling for action.”

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